Just Me and My Banjo

My first banjo lesson was last Friday. I learned how to hold it while sitting down which involved a brief lesson on the difference between boys and girls. I learned how to use the picks they gave me, and how to read a tabulature, a pick roll and three new chords (G, C, and D7). I’ve been playing until my fingers want to fall off. Seriously it hurts to type. I’m happy to report though that C no longer buzzes. yeah me!

Houston, we have music.

Entertaining Angels, God with Skin On

Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it. Hebrews 13:2

It is important to have friends you can be 100% yourself with. I have those. We try our best to be there for each other whenever we are needed. Life happens sometimes though and our friends are not always available. Those are the moments I take to God. Sometimes he sends me someone, and sometimes it’s just us. He must have known I needed an angel this week.

Well, not literally, I don’t think anyway. I can say one thing, they did not come in the neatly wrapped package I usually prefer (ie well known to me and female.) They are part of a group I am in and I believe they use a nom de plume. People I trust know them and therefore I talk to them on occasion. 

Don’t get me wrong, I know that blind trust is a sin and we don’t discuss anything deep or too revealing – safety rules and all – but we do talk sometimes, mostly about comedy, sometimes about faith. I like the whole no preconceived expectations aspect of that and I enjoy talking with them. They know more than I and I love surrounding myself with people further down the path. It’s how I grow.

I also set boundaries because they appear to be male. I’m not above temptation and will not replace things I should tell my husband with a stranger. There is no lure in that for me. I’m in ministry to serve God. Even so, I am fully aware of my own potential pitfalls and watch for those slopes.  The fact that He (meaning God) can even use me astounds me sometimes. I don’t want to mess that up.

I find it interesting how willing we are to let down our masks with strangers, more so than with friends. While I reveal a lot here for you, I do strive to keep the private out of the personal. I only share that which I think might benefit someone else because we are not alone in our daily struggles. Some things are universal. While it is true there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, not everything is everyone’s business nor do I wish to glamorize sin.

I’m a sinner saved by Grace, through faith. No more. No less.

Even so, I caught myself telling him things I don’t typically share with people in my comedy group. Like how I wasn’t raised in a church. I don’t talk about that. Must have needed to.

 I caught myself wanting to know who they really were and even tried to trick them at one point. The Holy Spirit tweaked me on that one and I apologized.  I finally gave up the ghost.  I believe that God puts people in our lives for a reason. This weekend I needed a prayer partner. I was genuinely upset about something and had requested prayer for a person. I failed to explain that I was on the ceiling myself over the situation but somehow talking with them calmed me down.

Ministry can do that. So many people are hurting in this world and I’ve yet to find a channel or way to listen to their hurt without drowning in it myself. I never want to become so cold-hearted that I feel nothing when someone shares pain. Even so, balance is good.

 I needed someone to talk to and this person was there and I appreciate that.

Truth is, knowing me, as much as I’d like to believe I’d be fully myself I’d probably try to impress them with my brilliance or baffle them with my BS and neither sounds satisfying. 

God gave me an ear to listen, and heart to hear and prayers when I needed them most.

Not knowing who he really is, keeps God’s face ever before me. — And for that, I am thankful.

“I will not wish thee riches nor the glow of greatness, but that wherever thou go, some weary heart shall gladden at thy smile, or shadowed life know sunshine for awhile. And so thy path shall be a track of light, like angels‘ footsteps passing through” — Words on a church wall in Upwaltham England

Grace on the Brain

A friend posted today – “”If you could read my mind, I’m pretty sure you’d be traumatized for life.”

I know the feeling. I’ve read my mind, it’s not the best place to get lost in and I usually try not to go there alone.

My youngest graduated high school last week and we spent the week going through old photos.

Old photos trigger memories some good, some well.. best left in the box in the bottom of the closet.

No not really, that’s a lie from Satan- those memories need the supernatural touch of Christ. They too are redemptive.

While I was looking for our old pictures I found a box full of tapes and a journal from twenty years ago. It’s not one of those cute diaries from when we were kids either. It was me at 28. Heartbroken, lost, confused and scared out of my mind. I’d just joined my very first church ever and I felt like I was sneaking into heaven on a borrowed halo.

I am here to tell you that my Christian walk has not been pretty. It’s full of missteps, starts, stops, highs and lows. I think that’s okay today. My heart grieves a bit for that young confused woman who was so afraid of God and everyone else, including herself. I like that my faith in God doesn’t come in a neatly wrapped bow with pretty wrapping paper. It’s muddy and messy and wholly mine because I am wholly His.

When my mentors ran out of words and ways to reach through my brick walls they handed me tapes. I have old videos of Ken Davis, The Gaithers, Joyce Meyer, and a bunch of Kay Arthur. They reached me when no one else could.

When my son’s school chose to play a Gloria Gaither video at graduation, I figured it was a sign or something. A nod from God that says “I see you. Remember when?” Those crocodile tears that fell that night were not tears of shame, but of gratitude for all he’s done in my life.

Ephesians tells me that I am the Beloved of God. In love: I am blessed, chosen, adopted, redeemed, forgiven and an heir with Christ.

Salvation isn’t just fire insurance.

Jesus didn’t die just to keep me out of hell.

He rose again that I too might live abundantly.

One of my all time favorite Gaither songs says “He that sat upon the throne said behold, I make all things new. “

Yes He does.

And if it isn’t new, He isn’t finished yet.

Distractions of a Redheaded UFO

If it’s not laundry

the dogs

the boys

my husband

my bladder

or the radio

It’s twitter,

Facebook

my Iphone

or the sunshine.

I’m supposed to be writing for four hours a day.

That’s my goal.

God promises me in 2 Timothy1:7  “For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.”

God’s already given me all of that. Discipline and self control need work. HA!

Spiritual muscles in need of strengthening.

What distracts you?

 

 

God is showing off again.

I promised myself I wouldn’t cry when my son graduated last night. And I didn’t. Then the commencement speech started. So much for promises. For the first time in 23 years, the administrator of the school gave the commencement speech. I’m sure the speech had points worth remembering. I’m glad we recorded it because I only remember one part. Halfway through his speech the administrator made direct eye contact with me when he said, “Beloved Daughter of the Living King, Live like you are forgiven.” – yep, that turned me into a waterfall  of big old alligator tears.

That can only mean one thing.

God’s up to something.

Have Mercy.

I’ll be back, I promise

For the first time in 21 years my boys will not be home for Mother’s Day.  My oldest will be celebrating a wedding out of state with his closest friends and my youngest is in Belize working at a mission for the week with his class.

Life is a cycle. My boys are now men. They bring joy and laughter beyond measure to my life. As hard as it was sometimes to be a stay at home mom – yes I missed my career, I would do it again in a heart beat. I love being their mom.

I know I’m breaking some rather large blogger rules by posting videos all week. Graduation is just a week away and we are up to our eyeballs in preparation. I hope you understand. For all the Mom’s out there, Happy Mother’s Day.